16-18 Courses, 16-18: A Levels

English Literature (A Level)

Course Overview

Entry requirements

GCSE Average Points Score: 4.3, Grade 5 English Language GCSE, Grade 4 Maths GCSE, GCSE Written Subject 6 Desirable

Course information

If you are studying at Havering Sixth Form:

English Literature A Level provides the opportunity to engage with a range of thought-provoking and compelling literary works, as well as to explore the historical, social and cultural factors that shaped their creation. Students must be prepared to think for themselves, to form original arguments, and to express these arguments persuasively in response to a range of literary material. The course is driven by opinions, perspectives and interpretations, providing fascinating insights into human behaviours that not only reveal our past, but also shape our present and future.

Across this varied and engaging course, we explore literary presentations of gender to consider how notions of masculinity and femininity have been created and shaped across time. Additionally, we consider the ways in which social and political power can make or break both individuals and the societies in which they live. George Orwells Nineteen-Eighty-Four provides a perfect platform from which to launch this investigation, with its depiction of a dystopian state ruled by oppression, surveillance and the persecution of individuality. You will also study literature from the Elizabethan period to the 21st Century, offering variety in both content and style. There are two coursework tasks, one of which provides the opportunity for original creative writing.

The course is demanding yet rewarding and will occupy at least five hours of independent study per week. English Literature is regarded as a facilitating subject and is held in high esteem by universities and employers. 

You can expect to:

  • Improve your vocabulary
  • Present rational and well-structured arguments
  • Closely examine language and its effects
  • Develop your research and referencing skills
  • Improve your verbal and written communication skills
  • Strengthen your knowledge of literature and culture
  • Develop critical thinking

English Literature is studied alongside two other A Levels or one other A Level and a Level 3 single BTEC. Courses that combine well include History, Drama, Film Studies, Psychology, Religious Studies, Philosophy and Sociology.

Exam board is OCR.

To explore the specification further, please use the following link:


If you are studying at Attlee Academy:

At AS level you will read closely a play, a novel and a short collection of poems. You will identify key themes and ideas and learn how to analyze how writers use particular techniques to put their ideas across. You will write two short coursework essays based on your set play and novel. You will be encouraged to talk about your views and opinions in group and class discussions. The theme for the year is The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature and you will have a two-hour exam in which you will be tested on your set poetry and a short prose text on the theme of identity.

In your second year you will study the theme of Love Through the Ages. You will study a Shakespeare play, a modern play, a novel and a collection of poetry but you will also do plenty of wider reading. You will write one coursework essay and you will have a two and a half hour exam based on unseen short texts on your set theme.

  • You will study plays, prose and poetry
  • You will learn to use literary terminology
  • You will learn how to argue using evidence and analysis
  • You will learn how to organise and write essays

Select your campus option to apply

What Can This Course Lead To

Progress to university, further study, a higher level apprenticeship or employment.

English Literature students are well equipped to progress on to a range of university courses including English Literature, Publishing, Journalism, Teaching, Media-related courses, History, Law, Business, and many more. Many top business and marketing executives have English Literature A Level or a degree in English. Due to the importance of written and verbal communication as well as critical thinking, the course opens up a multitude of paths for future study and employment. Former students have gone on to work in the media and communications industry, teaching, publishing, the Civil Service and as librarians.

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